Sunday, January 19, 2014

Extra-terrestrial dis-corporation

Last year the Mars One Foundation invited volunteers for a one-way trip to take up residence with the War-Lord. Over 200,000 humans volunteered; amongst them close to 20,000 Indians. A fraction of this number - 62 to be precise, have since made the cut for further participation as is evinced from this article. Space is known to be a hostile environment; the journey and destination environment even more so.

Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code writes to say

309. Attempt to commit suicide
Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall he punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year 151[or with fine, or with both].

The hazards involved may be considered a trade-off for a journey that attempts to take man to mars, and return safely. A one-way trip, on the other hand, may be construed suicidal - even if a technologically complex, and highly creative way to discorporate one-self.

Will any Indian in the final crew of the Mars One missions invite action under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code?